Wellness challenges can keep users engaged from start to finish! Many companies put time, money and energy into building and promoting a great challenge that gets a lot of sign ups and attention from the start, but after week 2 or 3 those participants become ghosts. Best practice to sustain engagement through all the weeks of your well-being challenge points to incentives.
5 Don’ts to Avoid:
- Don’t reward the “top participants”. Every challenge has a handful of people that are super active and track unrealistic steps/activities compared to the average person. Awarding the person or team with the most steps or points will work against you if the same people keep winning. Your average employees just aren’t going to stay motivated.
- Don’t reward people just for signing up. Positive energy and excitement when launching a challenge is useful, but there is nothing to stop those same people from dropping out.
- Don’t make the incentive too expensive. Prizes don’t have to be expensive. Weekend trips or prizes over $100 don’t motivate employees more. In fact, if the prize is valued too high, people will get finicky about details, point fingers at other participants and the incentive theory of motivation is out the window.
- Don’t worry about incentives for every participant. Offering everyone a fitbit may seem like a great idea, but what you generate the same level of motivation from one fitbit?
- Don’t spend hours searching the internet for and then packaging and sending out prizes.
5 Do’s for Engaging Wellness Challenges:
- Do reward participation based on hitting set goals. Instead of rewarding the fastest, first in line or top people, set a weekly goal (such as 40,000 steps) so everyone who meets the goal is eligible for the prize drawing.
- Do reward users for completing the challenge. If offering an incentive to everyone, be sure it’s for signing up and completing the challenge. Whether completing means tracking each week or meeting a weekly goal, a challenge isn’t completed if a user leaves before it’s over.
- Do choose prizes that are desired and useful. Try to select prizes that are meaningful and relevant to the challenge. For healthy eating challenges, offer a fruit of the month club, slow cooker or a smoothie blender.
- Do reward participation with a random drawing using positive psychology to motivate. Positive psychology tells us that when people are told they have a chance at winning a prize, they are motivated to work as hard as if they were guaranteed the same prize.
- Do utilize one partner who can manage your challenges, help with reports, purchase and even deliver prizes to the winners.
Remember, types of incentives matter too. Gift cards are simple and everyone likes them, but making incentives relevant to the challenge theme and topic fosters continued action and engagement.
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